What’s wrong with transgender liturgy?

Last July’s General Synod passed a motion brought by Chris Newlands on behalf of Blackburn Diocese, expressing the Church’s welcome of transgender people and asking the House of Bishops to consider whether they should offer some sort of liturgy to mark the transition of a person’s sex identity. In January, the House of Bishops responded … Continue Reading

Are people with Down’s syndrome truly valued?

General Synod of the Church of England met last week from Thursday to Saturday, and it was markedly less traumatic than some previous meetings. There were some challenging issues—the main ones for debate being the proposal for moving towards interchangeability of ministry with the Methodist Church, a report on safeguarding issues, and a motion on … Continue Reading

Should church order prevent church union?

Responses to the report Ministry and Mission in Covenant, proposing closer union between the Church of England and the Methodist Church (and discussed in my previous post), have reignited the responses that were made to the earlier scheme in 1969, which was agreed by the Methodists but rejected by the Church of England’s Church Assembly (the … Continue Reading

The Church of England and closer union with Methodists

This week, the Church of England’s General Synod will debate something controversial other than sexuality (hurrah!): whether we should take a formal step towards closer union with the Methodist Church by means of mutual recognition of our respective presbyteral (local church leader) ministries. The proposals are set out in the report Ministry and Mission in … Continue Reading

Valuing people with Down’s Syndrome: a parent’s response

The Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs Council has just published a report Valuing People with Down’s Syndrome for discussion at next week’s meeting of General Synod. Mary Cole, mother of a boy with Down’s Syndrome living in Cambridgeshire, offers her personal response. Our eldest son Ben is ten years old. He plays football … Continue Reading

On welcoming transgender people

Last July, General Synod voted on a contentious motion about the welcome of transgender people in the Church, proposed by Chris Newlands as a Blackburn diocesan motion. That it was contentious was already evident from the fact that the Bishop of Blackburn had voted against it when it was previously debated in the diocesan synod. … Continue Reading

What is missing in the George Bell case?

Liam Allan was studying criminology at Greenwich University—but after he started, a woman with whom he had had a sexual relationship accused him of repeatedly raping her and sexually assaulting her. He was on bail for two years, and in court for three days, before the case against him collapsed and was dismissed. The Crown … Continue Reading

Is Synod competent?

The General Synod of the Church of England (of which I am a member) met last week in York, and there were many good things about it. We spend most of Saturday afternoon exploring some exciting developments from the ‘centre’ offering resources to dioceses and churches in the task of evangelism and the making of disciples. … Continue Reading